Record Number of Zayed University Alumni Sign Up to Mentor Current Students

10 Oct 2023

Zayed University (ZU) proudly reports a marked rise in alumni participation as mentors in its Partner Challenges program. This success follows the "Give Back" campaign, which was launched earlier this year by ZU’s Alumni and Student Life departments. As a result of the campaign alumni now account for 1 in 5 (or 20%) of the total 192 mentors on the Fall 2023 program. This represents a significant rise on previous iterations when just 1 in 20 (5%) mentors came from the alumni community.

The Partner Challenge Program is integrated into a student’s degree program and provides them with an opportunity to apply their knowledge outside the classroom to a real-world challenge proposed by an industry partner. The challenges, which are mandatory for all students, involve student teams collaborating to address industry-relevant questions, blending theoretical education with practical problem-solving. The program provides students with insight into the type of work they will be expected to undertake when they begin their careers.

This year’s significant progress in alumni engagement is attributed to ZU’s "Give Back" campaign, which sought to motivate past students to impart their professional insights, bridging the gap between academic learnings and real-world challenges. The figures emphasize the success of the campaign – alumni participation has shown a substantial growth, indicating that ZU's holistic educational approach continues to resonate with its graduates long after they have left its campuses. And it underscores the dedication of ZU graduates in fostering the next generation, demonstrating their commitment to the university’s ethos and the wider community.

Mary-Allison Irvine, Head of Student Life at Zayed University, commented: "Increasing the number of alumni involved in the Partner Challenge program has been a key priority for us. At Zayed University, we aim for our students to think innovatively and embrace new skills and who better to pass on that message to our current students than our alumni community. The blend of alumni insights and student innovation is shaping our next generation of supercharged graduates.”

Hind AlKhayyal, Alumni Career Development Coordinator at Zayed University, added: “Zayed University Alumni are the heartbeat of our community, and our commitment to lifelong learning doesn't end at graduation. We take immense pride in the fact that a significant number of our alumni have embraced the opportunity to give back by joining our Partner Challenge program as mentors. Drawing from their rich life experiences, these alumni serve as guiding lights for our current students, seamlessly connecting the world of education with the domain of meaningful employment.” 

The Partner Challenge Program not only enrich ZU’s academic offerings but also serve as a valuable networking opportunity for students. The Program also continues to attract a wide range of businesses. 

This year, more than 130 organisations have joined the program and are providing mentorship to current ZU students. The participants range from multinational corporations to SMEs across the tech, media, finance, and dozens of other sectors, including industry leaders such as CISCO, Coca Cola, HSBC, and Emirates NBD. 

The continued growth in the Partner Challenge program not only showcases the impact of the program but also aligns with ZU's broader achievements, reinforcing its commitment to the UAE’s Centennial 2071 goals of advancing innovative education and promoting a diversified knowledge-based economy.